One House of Peace

One House of Peace is a nonprofit organization which provides services to youth through classes, workshops and retreats. They teach practical tools to help people manage their emotions and stress to resolve conflict in their lives. Their main program, Peace in Schools provides resources which are practiced in schools, youth shelters, and social service agencies around the country. Details can be found on their website,

I believe the practices and resources of One House of Peace is best placed for middle and high school students in public education. The awareness and meditation practices can be implemented in classrooms and workshops. These skills can help students focus better in the classroom and empower teens in the community.

An educator may incorporate the initiative “Peace In Schools” through mindfulness exercises, group circles, or individual based therapy. Meditation practices can be used in the classroom daily or referred to as a service in the school. By looking at the Peace Value Model, peace conflicts can be resolved through regular self-analysis of the conflicting situations. It is important to solve conflicts at the individual level to achieve peace at the societal level as well. Educators can provide students with mindfulness activities, but also provide private consultations for teens experiencing individual conflict.

The awareness practices and different meditation programs in this organization will enable students to have a better understanding of how to effectively deal with stress, learn to have healthier relationships with themselves and others. Students also develop skills that will help them focus and be more engaged in the classroom. Mindfulness programs in peace education helps teens with self-awareness and emotional resilience which are key tools in a time when school violence is so widespread.

EdChange – Applying Transformative Action towards Schools, Communities, and Organizations

Content: I found Ed Change through the New Century College at George Mason University where Paul Gorski is the associate professor of Integrative Studies, as well as the founder of EdChange. Their initiative is to gather the skills and resources of experienced educators dedicated to the principles of “equity, diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice” (EdChange).

Context: EdChange and their collective staff have decades of training, exposure, and experience with  teaching, as well as facilitating a variety of workshops, seminars, consultations, etc., for P-university level Their aim is to move institutions, along with the people within them, towards an approach to education that incorporates diversity, equity, and multicultural narratives. Due to their systemic focus, coupled with their extensive experience, EdChange can be addressed to classrooms of any size or level, in a multitude of contexts, and depending on the expected results, can be presented formally or informally. The main purpose is to develop a common understanding of the personal needs and/or expectations of the organization and then developing relevant procedures, programs, and tools in accordance. By doing so, there is not only a level of flexibility, but the approach is personal and helps strengthen both sides through their collaboration and growth. 

Implementation- A major factor is the success of EdChange is building momentum and ensuring that the organizations will continue to strive for transformation even after they are done with the training. Many of these skills are developed through the workshops and training seminars to solidify not only their particular approach, but their ability to maintain a productive trajectory. While the different exercises are directed towards individual needs, there are a set of themes that EdChange considers their expertise. For example, Introductory and Framework Building is the initial step of introducing the conversation about topics such as diversity and multicultural education and subsequently building forward thinking approaches. Another focus is on the Curricular/ Pedagogical; teachers are aided in strengthening their lessons to include transformative practices and how to engage the classroom in dialogue revolving around broadening their perceptions on the subjects of diversity, equity, and multicultural education.There are several other main focuses which can be found here. The time that it takes to incorporate their mission/ vision and their specific approaches depends on which focus(es) they are addressing, to which audience, and what goal does the organization have in mind. Where a introductory class could take an afternoon with grade-school children, their leadership development program could be a week-long and dialogue intensive. Due to these drastic differences, the pedagogies may vary, but they are continually aimed at shifting the mindsets toward embracing and implementing the diverse, the equitable, and the multicultural.

Goal- EdChange’s ultimate goal is to give people, all people regardless of any identity, the opportunity to achieve and grow, while simultaneously feeling comfortable in themselves, a well as valued and empowered. Through their continual approach towards the three main principles, they seek to reshape the way schools, communities, society, etc approach and build dialogue around those topics. However, an aspect of discomfort and challenge is essential in transforming power dynamics. By addressing those feelings of vulnerability, dialogue can be constructed from deep within the individual and it presents them with a chance to develop themselves as a part of their environment. To continue affecting change, EdChange will work with anyone or any group at any stage in this process of building awareness and development as long as they are committed and honest to their goal of positive change. There are also three main side-projects that are developed through EdChange to help the individual build their interests: Multicultural Pavilion is a collection of resources for artists, educators, and activists; SoJust is one of the only documented histories of social justice and activism on the Internet, and JUSTICE – the People’s News which is an actively updated journal on human rights and social justice related topics. 

Audience- Two main parties that would contribute from the curriculum built by EdChange are local communities, especially those challenged by systemic pressures or identity issues, and educators within school systems that have more restrictive approaches towards personal identification. On the community level, it would give the participants a change to gain insight on themselves and the intrapersonal aspects, while simultaneously placing them in a situation that gives them insight on their surroundings. Through this, individual identity becomes strengthened, individuals have confidence in dialogue construction, and they are more equipped to challenge the factors that limit them. In a educational environment, especially in places such as standardized public systems, identity development is not a major concern nor is it something that is appropriately addressed. Through giving the students the ability to open up and explore their interests, it will breed appreciation and positive change, which potentially can alter larger systematic procedures such as the education pipeline. Additionally, it gives the educator the skills to develop curriculum that would address diversity, equity, and multicultural narratives; topics that are essential to the growth of peace. 


A Blogpost outlining Kenya’s Vision 2030 peace education program, which is intended to encourage school age children to solve conflicts in a constructive manner and without resorting to violence. It was created to respond to the violence in Kenya after the 2007-2008 elections. The program aims to help build cultures of peace within these schools and to then have these students take these peaceful attitudes and build a peaceful society
3 objectives:
1. Creating awareness about the sources of conflict and how to deal with them in our daily lives
2. Classroom as the main arena where the values of “positive interdependence, social justice and participation in decision making are learned and practiced”
3. Creating respect for cultural diversity and fostering peaceful, diverse communities by encouraging positive images
Resource is located on DevEd website, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of those in developing countries through education that is tailored to their needs and local culture and practices
-Depending on how the resource is utilized, it can be used for a variety of age levels in formal educational settings.
-The objectives encourage global values that many aspire to and seek to promote
-The sooner in life we begin promoting peaceful ideals, the more likely they are to stick with a child and help mold them into a peace-building adult.
-It’s integrated into the standard/required courses (History, Social Studies, Religious Education, etc.), but is also encouraged in co-curricular activities like Drama, Music, art, etc.
-The values promoted by the program are universal and can be adapted for any environment, so long as its goal is to create a peaceful, safe space
-In order to incorporate this resource and the values it promotes, educators would need to actively reconsider and restructure their current curriculum. They would need to actively encourage the promotion of peace education in both the formal school setting and the informal “after school” setting where students participate in elective activities
-Logistics and materials: this program would require teachers be trained and educated on the subject of peace education, they might require sample curriculums in which peace education has already been integrated, access to peace education materials, and some training/education in conflict resolution/mediation.
-Because it would require some major changes, the implementation of this curriculum would require a large amount of time and might even need to be implemented gradually (perhaps first in the afterschool extra curricular activities and then spreading to the main curriculum)
-At the end, challenges faced by the program are outlined and educators and school administrators should take these into consideration
-Curriculum encourages and focuses on the importance of music and drama as vehicles for students to create peaceful school environments and communities.
-Kids develop cultural awareness, patience, and a strong sense of responsibility.
-They are active participants in their own education and are able to implement their own ideas and decisions they believe will be imperative for them to grasp certain subjects.
-The banking method is completely ruled out and replaced with active discussions and participation that includes everyone, along with the teacher to facilitate.

-Fairfax County teachers would definitely benefit from this program. I feel it would be especially beneficial for educators teaching in elementary schools as students are young and can be taught these lessons early on. Teaching children tolerance, acceptance, and understanding from a young age can shape them into well-adjusted adults who can better manage conflicts.
– An after school program educator in a diverse community can also gain from the program. Many after school programs have kids from various backgrounds come together which can lead to conflicts of race and culture. If those in charge of after school programs can implement the concepts from this program, kids can learn to better understand each other and navigate their conflicts.

A Place for Supporting Community and Sharing Resources: The National Peace Academy

When searching for group that offers something for the peace education world, I came across the National Peace Academy. The National Peace Academy (NPA) was founded in order to allow and encourage peace professionals and community organizers to continue practicing and share their knowledge with others. To sustain peace movements, leaders, organizers, and educators need a place to share resources and what they have learned as a way to give back. While the content isn’t tailored solely to the public education realm, there are resources for teachers surrounding the 5 spheres of peace. NPA’s 5 Spheres of Peace include social, ecological, personal, institutional, and political; these themes are the foundations for the different programs, events, and curriculums offered. This model would be easy to incorporate in formal and informal education for kids from grades K-8, especially in Civics course.

  • How to use this resource: NPA offers many opportunities for those interested in peace education. Under their Programs and Projects page, readers can learn about offerings such as School Teacher and Administrator Trainings, the International Institute on Peace Education, Peacebuilder Teleconference Dialogues, and the Global Campaign for Peace Education. The more valuable link for those interested in learning or facilitating the learning of others would be the Ed Resources section. Resources include access to past dialogues and a “study guide” section. From the study guide, learners can access curriculum developed for children, youth, and adults around the 5 spheres of peace. The resource makes it very clear that these lessons are just a starting point for peace education and teachers should feel free to continue developing their own lessons and activities. Each lesson contains a list of activities, resources, and preparation guides for the teacher in order to have the lesson run smoothly; these predesigned lessons and activities can be adapted as educators see fit.
  • Goal– This resource supports peace education by offering resources around 5 branches of peace. By extending these resources to the large community, NPA looks to be a guiding organization that offers a framework and foundation for integrating peace education activities into classrooms across the nation. By having youth focus on topics such as self-reflection, mindfulness, thinking about conflict, and active listening, educators could help develop the skills that youth would have to grow and develop in the modern world. This gets at some of the defining goals of peace education mentioned by Betty Reardon such as global agency, cultural proficiency, conflict competency, and gender sensitivity by giving youth and children the tools to discuss these topics. By offering other access points like dialogues and events, teachers can get the support and education they need to introduce the work authentically to students. Sharing knowledge and resources makes changing the culture to one that supports peace education much easier for teachers knowing that they aren’t alone in their efforts.
  • Audience- Two stakeholders who could benefit from this program teachers, mainly grades K-8, interested in incorporating peace education in their classrooms or learners of any age who are willing to dive into the self-study of the 5 spheres of peace; this network is not exclusive to educators, but broadly open to anyone interested in learning more on their own volition.

Teachers Without Borders’ Girls Earthquake Science and Safety Initiative

Founded in 2000, non-profit organization Teachers Without Borders (TWB) was founded on the prospect of spreading peace education methods worldwide. It is run by educators and local leaders who aim to provide educational resources for disadvantaged students around the world, by providing strengthened curricula and materials (i.e.: textbooks, technology, and community building, among several other factors).

Content: The Girls’ Earthquake Science and Safety Initiative is a joint project administered by TWB, The Global Earthquake Model, The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and the U.S. Geological Survey. This program combines geological science and earthquake education to empower young women within the classroom. It aim to build educational prowess and self-esteem from the ground-up for all students that it serves.

Context: This program aims to educate 100,000 young women in Central and Southern Asia, regions prone to earthquakes. It is currently implemented to serve students and educators in nations such as Tajikistan, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. An instructor with a strong engineering background is put into each of the schools to help administer the process. The initiative is fiscally conducive, and only costs 60 USD per enrolled student.

Implementation: Mentors ask students to survey a million buildings within the school’s community. The curriculum is applicable to students at the primary, intermediate and secondary levels. Additionally, specific curricula have been tailored to fit each community within the initiative. Students become earthquake prevention literate, in addition to getting a stronger science background.

How this program is used: TWB sends a collective of earthquake measuring tools along with the mentor. This allows students to fully participate and glean the greatest amount of knowledge from these lessons. The curriculum is divided into 12 different units. There are corresponding textbook readings and activities for each unit. Each activity is hands-on, and teaches students to apply the information from the text to create an innate understanding of the lesson plan. After each unit is covered, students participate in an extensive codification art and literacy project to show the extent of their knowledge.

Goals: The Girls’ Earthquake Science and Safety Initiative aims to not only fill the gaps that lack from these students’ educations in both earthquake preparedness and sciences, but to actually use the research conducted by the students to help with earthquake prevention in their communities. Additionally, it intends to empower young women with the hope that young women in these communities have the confidence to perhaps lead within a field that is consistently dominated by men.

Audience: Students and educators in areas that are also prone to caustic national disasters could definitely benefit from a similar curriculum for their students. Additionally, anyone interested in the peace education process, or interested in creating an empowering environment for female students to gain self-esteem, communication and critical analysis skills would definitely be interested in this curriculum.

USIP: Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators

The United States Institute of Peace, Global Peacebuilding Center has made toolkits to support educators as peacebuilders. It is easily downloaded and introduces key concepts of peacebuilding skills and themes to use as a resource in the classroom. Details of the resource can be found on USIP’s website and the Global Peacebuilding Center which is an extension of USIP’s educational work.

I think the peacebuilding toolkit is best placed for middle and high school students as it was designed, however elementary educators could also benefit from these lessons in the classroom. There are separate editions of the resource for middle and high school students. It can also be taught in Spanish, French, and Arabic. The toolkit is very beneficial for educators to learn more about international conflict management.

An educator may incorporate this resource collectively by downloading the entire toolkit or only use specific individual lessons for the students. It can be implemented in the lesson plan on a bi weekly or monthly basis. To strengthen the use of the resource, the educator can have different activities for practical skills in conflict management.

This peacebuilding toolkit for educators is an informative start to gain more knowledge on peacebuilding. Peace education of preventing violent conflict and how to be a peace builder are most supported by this resource because it gives educators a platform of how to teach peacebuilding skills. Students will gain many skills such as, mediation, negotiation, problem solving and conflict analysis.

All educators can benefit from this toolkit, particularly for students in middle and high school. Students should be encouraged to be a part of peacebuilding in their lives and globally. These skills and attitudes can be learned. The main audience for this resource will be teachers who want to bring important global issues to their classroom and encourage their students to be peace builders.

2013 in review: Peacelearner Blog Worldwide Visits from over 90 Countries

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,700 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.